The use of public transport is now approaching 2019 levels. / sur

Use of public transport in Andalucía is almost back to pre-pandemic levels

The number of passengers in the region rose by 12 million in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2021, and demand is 86% of that in 2019

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA Seville

The number of people using public transport in Andalucía has been increasing steadily and now stands at 86.2% of pre-pandemic levels. The metropolitan travel card was used by 32.44 million passengers in the first half of this year, which was over 12 million more than in the same period in 2021 and an increase of nearly 60%.

The increase has been general in Andalucía, although Malaga with an 80.4% rise and Almeria with 70% stand out above the rest.

The figures include the metropolitan and urban bus services in the eight provinces of Andalucía and the Campo de Gibraltar, the metros in Seville, Malaga and Granada, the Bay of Cadiz catamaran and local train services in Cadiz, which were recently incorporated.

The use of metropolitan bus passes in the region went up by 64.9% compared with last year, to 16.7 million journeys. Travel on urban buses also increased, with 5.5 million journeys and a growth of 40%.

The metro services in Seville, Malaga and Granada were used by 17 million passengers in the first six months of this year, which was an increase of 77%. The use of the metropolitan travel card on metro services rose by 69.2% to over l0 million journeys.

In June, the number of active travel cards in the region rose to 2.5 million for the first time, and this was 18,417 more than the month before.

More discounts needed, says minister

Regional government minister Marifrán Carazo, who is calling for more discounts to be available to encourage people to use public transport, has confirmed that from September the 30% discount ordered by the government in Madrid will be applied locally “although we consider these measures ephemeral and not very effective," she said.

She pointed out that Andalucía offers permanent discounts of 30% and 40% on single journey tickets with the Consortium travel card, and that this year for the first time a Youth Transport Card has been issued with 50% discounts on travel, and it is now being used by over 100,000 young people in the region.